By Barry Holbrook: In a big surprise, undefeated light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi has left DAZN & Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and signed a multi-fight deal with BOXXER to fight on Sky Sports.
In explaining why he left DAZN/Matchroom in favor of BOXXER/Sky, the 30-year-old Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) said he had questions whether how many fans were watching his recent fight on the DAZN app.
Buatsi wanted to make sure he was being seen when he comp, and he wasn’t confident that he was getting the proper visibility on DAZN.
Moreover, with the many boxing fans that are canceling their subscriptions with DAZN after this latest round of price increases in the rates, it’s questionable whether Buatsi would have made the right decision if he’d remained aboard the Hearn/DAZN ship as she begins sinking into the murky, dark abyss.
“I want people to say, ‘We know what channel to turn to.’ I’m not going to tell you to download an app, to type in your email,” said Joshua Buatsi to The Mirror on why he left Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing & DAZN in favor of BOXXER & Sky Sports.
“My last fight, I asked myself, ‘How many watched it?’ I don’t think a lot of people saw it,” said Buatsi.
Joshua Buatsi must build his brand
“The YouTubers get a lot of attention. They can’t fight, but they get world attention, world money, and the world stage. Why is that? It’s because they’ve looked at themselves as a business,” said Johnny Nelson to Sky Sports on what Joshua Buatsi must do to increase his popularity.
“They’ve gotten the public to understand who they are, no matter what their character is. Today’s fighters need to look at themselves as a business. Get the public to get them to know them.
“If you’re going to be in the spotlight and you’re going to be a champion. Unfortunately, that’s the price of fame. So you’ve got to give a piece of yourself away, so the public gets to know you or hate you.
“Either way, they’re going to watch you. You’ve got to build that brand up, and Joshua Buatsi now needs to do that. He’s uncomfortable doing that. You know what he’s like in the gym where the banter is there, but he now needs to bring that out to the public so the public fall in love with him,” said Nelson about Buatsi.